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For many people, birth control pills are ideal options for preventing pregnancy, regulating menstruation cycles, and managing a range of hormone-related conditions, such as menstruation pain. Moreover, for those concerned about side effects related to fluctuating hormone levels, low estrogen birth control is an appealing option. But how exactly do these pills work? If you’re curious about the science behind low estrogen birth control, check out this brief guide that explains how it works and affects the body.

How Low Estrogen Birth Control Works

Image via Flickr by Janels Katlaps

Low estrogen birth control is a pill you take daily. Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin, and minipills contain progestin only. The medication releases these hormones to stop ovulation, which keeps sperm from fertilizing an egg and, thus, prevents pregnancy.

One of the best things about low estrogen birth control is it works as effectively as combination pills with higher doses of estrogen. This means low estrogen pills are associated with fewer side effects than their higher dosage counterparts.

Note that the effects vary based on the type of medication you’re taking and your ability to follow it’s label requirements. Lo Loestrin Fe, for example, is an option for daily low estrogen birth control that’s best for women under 35.

Types of Low Estrogen Pills

Low estrogen birth control is typically available as a combination pill that contains estrogen and progestin. The pills are commonly prescribed as either a 21-pack of active pills or a 28-pack that includes seven pills containing no hormones. Women who take these pills typically get their periods during the week they’re taking the seven inactive pills.

Some birth control pills are available without estrogen. These are called minipills and are typically prescribed to women who:

●Are breastfeeding.

●Are nearing menopause.

●Can’t tolerate increased estrogen.

If you’re taking minipills such as Norenthindrone, note the unique requirements for this medication. To prevent pregnancy effectively, you must take them at the same time each day. Like combination pills, women are often prescribed a 28-pack that includes seven inactive pills.

When Do Birth Control Pills Start Working?

The effectiveness of birth control pills as a pregnancy prevention depends on the type of pills and when you start taking them. If you take them on the day your period begins, for example, you’ll be protected right away. If you start taking them outside of your menstruation cycle, you should use backup birth control for the first seven days.

Conditions That Low Estrogen Birth Control Can Help Manage

Doctors prescribe low estrogen birth control for more reasons than preventing pregnancy. Combination pills, for example, also help regulate the menstrual cycle. Other benefits associated with this medication include:

●Mitigation of period symptoms such as heavy bleeding and cramps.

●Reduced risk of ovarian cysts and certain cancers.

●Treatment of endometriosis and other hormone-related conditions.

Low estrogen birth control pills are effective options for many women. Speak to your doctor if you have any questions or are interested in using Lo Loestrin Fe or another birth control product.


According to a long-term Brazilian study, there is link between breastfeeding and intelligence.

Children who are breast-fed for longer go on to become more intelligent, educated and successful adults, the study has found.

Researchers analyzed breastfeeding data on almost 3,500 babies who were given IQ tests when they reached the age of 30 and provided information on educational attainment and income.

The research found those who had been breastfed for longer went on to score higher on IQ tests as adults.

Experts say the results, while not conclusive, appear to back current advice that babies should be exclusively breastfed for six months.

However, they say mothers should still have a choice about whether or not to do it.

Regarding the findings – published in The Lancet Global Health – specialists stress there are many different factors other than breastfeeding that could have an impact on intelligence, although the researchers did try to rule out the main confounders, such as mother’s education, family income and birth weight.

Dr. Bernardo Lessa Horta, from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, said his study offers a unique insight because in the population he studied, breastfeeding was evenly distributed across social class – not something just practiced by the rich and educated.Breastfeeding linked to higher IQ

Most of the babies, irrespective of social class, were breastfed – some for less than a month and others for more than a year.

Those who were breastfed for longer scored higher on measures of intelligence as adults.

They were also more likely to earn a higher wage and to have completed more schooling.

Dr. Bernardo Lessa Horta believes breast milk may offer an advantage because it is a good source of long-chain saturated fatty acids which are essential for brain development.

However, experts say the study findings cannot confirm this and that much more research is needed to explore any possible link between breastfeeding and intelligence.